Planning a Party


1. To demonstrate how to work within a set budget

2. To encourage teamwork and creativity in the planning process

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12), Math (4-8), Foods and Nutrition (5-8)


Introduce money management as it pertains to party planning with the following discussion points:

  • What is involved in planning a party? What kinds of things need to be considered (i.e. invitations, food, activities, etc.)?
  • How much money do students think it would cost to throw a party? What kinds of expenses are associated with parties?
  • What is the most significant expense?
  • What are some ideas for spending wisely?


Plan a Class Party

Length: 2–3 hours (minimum of two classes)
Materials: Plan a Class Party Handout

  • In this activity, students will work together to collectively plan a class party (it may be a unit wrap-up party or something just for fun). Prior to starting the activity, discuss what kind of party the students would like to arrange and what the associated costs might be.
  • As a class, determine an overall party budget (how much the party will cost in total) and decide what needs to be planned for the party (i.e. invitations, food, activities, loot bags, theme, decorations, etc.).
  • Once you have established an overall party budget and decided on what will need to be planned, break the kids into committees (one for each of the planning areas) and decide on their responsibilities. Decide what portion of the total budget each of the committees should have. For example, food may account for 30% of the entire budget.
  • Each of the committees should then brainstorm party ideas and determine their responsibilities and budget using the Plan a Class Party Handout. They should only fill out the "Responsibility" and "Estimated Cost" columns at this point. The "Actual Cost" column cannot be filled in until after the activity is complete.
  • Once complete, committees will have to present the proposed budget to the class for approval. If it is not approved, committees will need to revise their figures.
  • When all of the committee budgets have been approved, it is time to make the party happen. Note: students cannot bring free stuff from home. Teachers may wish to charge the students a nominal fee for supplies that they use in the classroom unless they have been designated for recycling, etc.
  • Once the students have had the party, they will need to fill out the "Actual Cost" column on the Plan a Class Party Handout to see how close they came to their initial estimate.


  • Assume that money had not been considered in this activity. How much money could have been spent (or wasted) on this party? How much was saved?

Collaborative Feedback

Following the party, discuss the following:

  • What were some of the challenges when trying to work within the budget?
  • What was liked/disliked about the party? How could it be improved?
  • What costs could be avoided in the future?

Teacher Tips

  • Discuss the idea of planning for a special event such as a graduation ceremony or a wedding. It may be interesting to address the range in cost and why setting a budget is so important!

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • In what ways does planning ahead for a party help you make decisions with your money? Explain.
  • In what ways did planning ahead for a party help you make decisions with your money? Explain.